Understanding alarms

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What is an alarm?

An alarm state happens when SmartBench thinks that it is at risk of causing damage to itself if it continues to move. 

In this scenario, SmartBench will lock itself, and not accept any commands until the user manually resets it. 

SmartBench may go into an alarm state if it:

  • loses position (e.g. if homing is interrupted) 

  • detects that is at a machine boundary (e.g. if it touches a limit switch)

  • thinks that a probe command has failed (e.g. it never detects the probe plate)

If a limit switch circuit is faulty, this can also cause SmartBench to go into alarm states unexpectedly! 

If you see this behaviour on your machine, we recommend that you contact our customer support team. 

Click here to learn about submitting a support ticket. 

How do I know that SmartBench is in an alarm state? 

SmartBench will tell you! SmartBench’s LEDs will turn white, and it will immediately stop and display the alarm screen on the console.

Why did the alarm happen?

This section shows alarm screens as they appear in console software versions v1.6.1 and above. 

If you are on an earlier version, we recommend updating your software to get the best possible alarm information and user experience. 

Click here to learn more about how to update your console. 

The reason for the alarm will be shown on the initial alarm screen. 

If the cause of the alarm was a triggered end-of-axis limit switch, you will be told to contact customer support and shown a diagnostic alarm report by default. 

For most other causes of alarm states, you do not need to contact support (for example, if you choose to stop the homing process, this will trigger an alarm). 

You can still view the alarm report by clicking through the screens until you see the option to see “More info”. 

The alarm report will look like this, and includes:

  • Important system information about your machine

  • A description of the alarm

  • Recent status reports from the machine, that show position and limit information.

If you need to submit a copy of this report to the customer service team, you can either take a photo of the screen or plug a USB stick into the side of the console to download the report.

How do I reset or clear an alarm? 

Follow the instructions on the alarm screens to clear an alarm; when you leave the final alarm screen, SmartBench will automatically be reset. 

If SmartBench lost position or did not finish homing fully, you will need to re-home before doing anything else. 

How do I reset an alarm if I can’t see an alarm screen? 

In rare cases, it is possible for SmartBench to be in an alarm state without showing an alarm screen: if a limit switch is triggered during start up, and the safety screen comes up after that it may replace the alarm screen. 

You will know if SmartBench is in an Alarm state because it will say “Alarm” in the bottom right of the console screen. 

You can manually reset the alarm state by pressing the reset button in the middle right of the console screen. 

What do the different alarm states mean? 

Jump to: 

1: An end-of-axis limit switch was triggered during a move.

2: The requested motion target exceeds the machine's travel.

3: Machine was reset while in motion and cannot guarantee position.

4: Probe fail. Probe was not in the expected state before starting probe cycle.

5: Probe fail. Tool did not contact the probe within the search distance.

6: Homing fail: SmartBench was reset during active homing cycle.

7: Homing fail: the stop bar was triggered during the homing cycle.

8: Homing fail: during the homing cycle, an axis failed to clear the limit switch when pulling off.

9: Homing fail: could not find the limit switch within search distance.

Alarm 1: An end-of-axis limit switch was triggered during a move

SmartBench has detected that it is at the extremes of one of its axes, and will stall should it travel any further. 

You might see this alarm if your Home position is incorrect, and you have accidentally driven SmartBench to it’s limit. In this case, you will need to shutdown SmartBench, and manually move the Z Head away from the end of the axis. 

If you have seen this alarm, and SmartBench is far away from the limits of any axis, the alarm has most likely been caused by a faulty limit switch. In this case, please click here to submit a support ticket.

Alarm 2: The requested motion target exceeds the machine's travel

You might see this alarm if you put a command in your job file that tells the machine to travel further than is possible, and you have run the file without checking it. 

In this scenario, the job will be cancelled, and you will need to review and check your file before running it again. 

Alarm 3: Machine was reset while in motion and cannot guarantee position

This alarm may show if a job has failed due to an error in the GCode. Clearing the error means that SmartBench is reset, and this in turn triggers an alarm. 

In this scenario, the job will be cancelled, and you will need to review and check your file before running it again. 

Alarm 4: Probe fail. Probe was not in the expected state before starting probe cycle

This alarm might come up if you have tried to run the probe while it is already in motion. 

Alarm 5: Probe fail. Tool did not contact the probe within the search distance

This alarm will come up if the tool never makes contact with the probe, and SmartBench is unable to set the Z datum. 

Alarm 6: Homing fail: SmartBench was reset during active homing cycle

This alarm will come up if you cancel the homing procedure from the console. 

If you stopped the homing procedure for a specific reason (e.g. realising that SmartBench was not clear), you will need to resolve it (e.g. clear SmartBench). Then, start the homing procedure again. 

Alarm 7: Homing fail: the stop bar was triggered during the homing cycle

This alarm will come up if you stop SmartBench using the stop bars during the homing procedure. 

If you did not press the stop bar yourself, check that SmartBench is clear as the stop bar may have been pushed by an obstacle on the bed. 

Otherwise, resolve the reason for pressing the stop bar, and then start the homing procedure again. 

Alarm 8: Homing fail: during the homing cycle, an axis failed to clear the limit switch when pulling off

This alarm will come up if SmartBench has not been able to stop triggering a limit switch when it has finished the homing procedure. 

This may indicate that there is an issue with the machine pull-off setting; if you have tried to manually change the GRBL settings, you should review them now. 

If you have seen this alarm, and SmartBench is far away from the limits of any axis, the alarm has most likely been caused by a faulty limit switch. In this case, please click here to submit a support ticket.

Alarm 9: Homing fail: could not find the limit switch within search distance

This alarm will come up if SmartBench has not been able to trigger a limit switch during the homing procedure. 

This may indicate that there is an issue with the machine homing seek setting; if you have tried to manually change the GRBL settings, you should review them now. 

If you have seen this alarm, and SmartBench has stalled or is up against the limits of any axis, the alarm has most likely been caused by a faulty limit switch. In this case, please click here to submit a support ticket.


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